woensdag 13 februari 2013

A Long, Long Time Ago...

Wauw, ruim 3 jaar na mijn laatste bericht bijna dagelijks nog pageviews! Toch wel een beetje trots hoor... Bento doe ik nog maar zeer zelden, bloggen nog veel minder, maar bij deze: bedankt voor het kijken!

dinsdag 1 september 2009

quick reminder to myself

I haven't been bento-ing much the past few weeks, it's been too busy around here. But I intend to pick it up asap, and to keep on blogging!

One small story:
We had a bbq with some of my colleagues. I made tiramisu, but since I had to transport it from home to work to the place the bbq was held, I decided to freeze it for convenience. I ended up serving tirami-soup... I hadn't realised that all the air I painstakingly whisked into the egg-whites would spontaneously disappear when frozen and thawed... I tasted really good though!

zaterdag 8 augustus 2009

Preparations for the week

Tomorrow is Sunday, and that is my prep day. If I am home that is, and as it turns out, I will be tomorrow.
What I'm hoping to make:
- full English breakfast (not for my bento's, but it's sooooo good)
- onigiri
- boiled eggs
- jello jigglers
- pasta salade
- meatballs
- ham-olive cake (or maybe a veggie version, I don't know if I have ham actually)

And dinner for the next week, consisting of couscous, pasta and warm smoked salmon (yum!).
I hope to make some pictures of my day, but I might be too busy, as I also need to finish my laundry and clean the house. Luckily, Mr B will be helping with those last two, so I can concentrate on the food more.

For now a picture of Mr B and Carice van Houten, who played Mrs von Stauffenberg in the Tom Cruis film Valkyrie. She's really well known in Holland, and starting to break through internationally as well.

maandag 3 augustus 2009

Bad Liessa! Shame on me!!

Just in my last post I called myself lazy, and now look what happened! I haven't posted in nearly two months!
I won't bore you with all my bento's in that time (24 of them), but I will give you an update.

First of all: boxes!

My boxen all nice and neat in a row on top of the freezer. All my cabinets are full, so they just stand there. They're pretty colourful, so I rather like it!

Here they are, all opened up and spread out. This just shows how economically you can put them away!

This is my new favorite: a Nightmare before Christmas box set! I have recently found another one, but am not sure if I will buy it. This one is really hando though, 3 different boxes, a sandwich box and a neat little cutlery set. I just love eBay...

So what else has been going on?

I've started to sell some of my stuff on a Dutch site, Marktplaats. Not only did I order more than I wanted to keep anyway, I found out that some people are not comfortable with ordering things over eBay from far away. So, to fill in the gap, I ordered a bunch of egg molds (impossible to get here) and am now selling them. I don't ned to make a profit, just my money back, so I can keep my prices pretty low, and for people with webshop-anxiety this might be an ideal solution.

On a personal note: all is well at the B's. We're well out of the Honeymoon period, and closed it off with a weekend in Brussels. We went to see HP6 on Saturday, and on Sunday went to an exhibition and did some shopping (chocolate!). I myself also went to London for a weekend, no hubby. Found some pretty cool things there, including yogurt in a strawberry or raspberry shaped holder. Really cute:

I also got the drinks bottle ther. It has a built in cooler system which you can freeze and then plug in the top of the bottle to keep your drinks nice and cool. Too bad it doesn't fit in my insulated bag :-(

You guys missed my cherry fever I'm afraid. I adore cherries, and ate about 2 pounds a week for 3 weeks. Now they're getting more expensive, so I replace them with other things. I'd really like a fruit orchard, just for filling my bentos, but in our garden I'd be happy with finally getting a plum on my single little plum tree... So far it's all been leaves, but I'm still hoping that one day I may harvest my very own plum. When I do, I'll let you know!

donderdag 11 juni 2009

I've been kind of lazy the last week, but I am going to catch up for that right away!

Bento 04-06-09

Left (bottom tier): yellow bell pepper, mushrooms, egg, ketchup in monkey case
Lower right (top tier): onigiri, zucchini, soy sauce
Top right (extra box): ham olive cake, meatballs

Bear necessities?
After the bunny theme, I went for a bear theme today. Onigiri, sauce bottle, food pick, molded egg... It was a big hit at work too, a lot of people were going "Wow, how'd you do that?" Really cool, right?

Bento 05-06-09

Top part: home made hummus wraps, mushrooms
Bottom part: carrot, cucumber, raspberry-yoghurt dressing
Side part: blackberry jello
Extra: banana, drinks

Thank God it's Friday!
Friday's are usually pretty quiet at work, but that means it takes really really long for the clock to hit 5 p.m. In this case, I overslept, and just threw everything ready to eat in the box. The wraps were actually a promise, a colleague wanted to try my hummus, so I took both flavours (coriander/lemon and dried tomato).
The black can in the top corner is Coca Cola Blak. By far my favorite cola, it is and never has been sold in the Netherlands. I got this in France, actually. When on holiday in the Provence last year, I discovered this cola with added coffee essence. It tastes like a kind of Dutch candy called "Haagse hopjes", which I really love. It has a lot of caffeine, which means it's perfect for Fridays when you need the extra energy. It also means my hubby won't allow me to drink more than one can a day, because apparently I get really really annoying when I drink two :-s

Bento 08-06-09

Left: pasta salad with tuna
Right: olives, cucumber, hummus wrap

We went to a BBQ on the weekend. It was bring your own part of the meal, so I did the salads. I made pasta salad with tuna, fresh fruit salad and bought some ready made as well. As you can see, the salad wasn't finished, so I took the rest home. The BBQ was really good, except for the rain...

Bento 09-06-09

Left: meatballs, carrot, hummus wrap
Right: pasta salad

I went to my favorite store this week, Xenos. This chain has all sorts of stuff, and I totally adore it. They sell some food items (mainly in the "exotic" category), but most is non-food household stuff. This means you can find some great Bento items there, if you check the stocks regularly.

Like this Dora the Explorer lunch box. It has two tiers, is not too big and has a clasp closing. It's priced at €3,50 (about $4,50). It's not my taste, but would be perfect for a kids bento lunch.

This is a more main stream lunch box. It has a two compartiment bottom, a swinging inside lid and a top ideal for sandwiches. The transparancy invites the buyer to fill this one with colourful food!

This kind of stuff is really the most bento-ish you can get here in Holland, I just get most stuff off ebay. I have some outstanding orders there now, including for some other people (sharing postage is good!). I can't wait to get it all, will post pictures!
I received one order yesterday, it was for two jello jigglers molds. One is a set of easter eggs, the other is a bunch of jello beans. I really like those, they're ideal for a bento. My last ones were made in a muffin mold, and while they taste great, the shape isn't that handy (except for in the small side part of the above blue box, they fit perfectly in there). Will make a new batch soon, and I am going to try my new molds!

woensdag 3 juni 2009

Bento's for 2 and 3 June

Top: Heart and Star onigiri, soy sauce, blackberry jello
Bottom: fih-shaped egg, bell pepper, cucumber, carrot

Top: Star and bunny onigiri, say sauce, bunny egg, meatballs (frozen)
Bottom: cucumber, carrot, bell pepper
Side box: bell pepper, ham olive cake, lemon jello

And a piece of onigiri as part of my breakfast is in the picture too!

I had a bunny theme today. The onigiri is a sleeping one, I guess I should have taken a closeup for a better look. I get up pretty early each day (5 am), so this one is for the still sleeping me in the morning...

Both bento's have my first molded eggs, and I love them! It's almost a shame to eat them, but I do anyway, lol!
Also in both bentos are the jello jigglers I made monday. They're made by using half the normal amount of water. The lemon ones are fine, the blackberry ones are still a bit too watery. They're different brands, so that's where the difference must be. I prefer the blackberry taste, and have anoth that, so I'll either add still less water or add some gelatine for the next batch. Putting them in a muffin mold was a good idea, the lemon ones are quite thin and can double up for an easy fit.

I am currently very active on Ebay in buying bento stuff. I am getting supplies for really good prices, concentrating on stitch and miffy products at the moment, plus all the egg molds I can get my hands on, lol! I've found 16 different ones on ebay! And that's not counting the quail egg molds...
When they come in I will be taking pictures :-)

zaterdag 30 mei 2009

Honeymoon & bento-shopping?

Well, we came back from our honeymoon last night (Friday), and yes, I went bento-shopping...

We left Monday for Paris, where we arrived around 12.30. We checked in to the hotel, dropped our stuff in the room and went to get something to eat. We walked around a bit, and decided to hit the Champs-Elysees, for the Disney store. We walked around for the rest of the day, and ended up in the Quartier Latin, around the university of Sorbonne. We found a cosy restaurant and had a lovely meal, then went back to the hotel. We're actually quite boring, we don't go out normally, and didn;t go to any nightclubs or anything in Paris either.

Tuesday we wanted to go see the Musee National du Moyen Age (the museum of the Middle-Ages), but when we arrived, it turned out to be closed on Tuesdays. Hmm, bummer. We went for some coffee and a sit down to think about what to do, and ended up sitting next to a lightboard stating the current affairs in Paris. It turned out there was an exhibition on George Eiffel (yes, from the tower) in the Hotel de Ville, and it was free too! So, we decided to walk to the Notre Dame, took a look inside, and went to the Hotel de Ville. The exhibition was really cool, it showed some of the early projects the Eiffel company worked on, and a lot of stuff about the tower. It's 120 years after the Grand Opening, that was one of the reasons for the exhibition. The best thing was a series of photos taken with 15 day intervals of the building of the tower. It showed the progress over the entire build.
For lunch we went to the Japanese area nearby, and grabbed some great food. I had sushi, and we both had skewers with chicken, beef and cheese (which was pretty strange).
And then, the bento-shopping. I was tipped about Komikku, a manga store that sells bento stuff. I ended up buying foodpicks and a mini-steamer. Across the street there's a Japanese grocery store called Kioko, so that was the perfect occasion to get some furikake. I asked the lady in the store where they were, but then standing at the section realised that of course I can't read Japanese, and had no idea what to buy! I ended up with a pink package I figured would be salmon, a yellow one I'd have to ask about, and one with 5 different flavours with pictures on the package. The yellow one was egg, so I hadn't picked badly really!

My shopping done, we didn't really know what we wanted to do next. We walked around some more, and decided to check out the Marais, the neighbourhood where we were staying. It was really nice, lots of people, little shops (mainly touristy crap, but nice ones too), generally a good atmosphere. When we entered Les Halles, the big mall there, we found out there was a Q&A with Eric Cantona, a soccer-player turned actor. We checked it out and stayed for a while, but since Mr B doesn't understand French that well, and it was too fast for me too, we left after we found out mr Cantona wouldn't be doing a signing session. We did take some pictures of ourselves with him in the background...

We found a pub for dinner and had the worst meal I've ever had in france. I had "andouilette", which is chitterling. It wasn't that bad, but they put so much sauce on it it didn't taste like anything but the sauce. Mr B had spare ribs, but they were so dried out, you could have broken a window by throwing them. And the strangest thing about this meal? I added some salt to my fries, and they got LESS salty. I don't know what was in that pot, but it certainly wasn't salt!
This pub might have good beer (I don't know, I don't drink it), but it certainly doesn't have good food!

On our way back, we stopped at the local supermarket for some snacks and drinks, and then went to bed.

Wednesday was traveling and Disney day. We arrived at Disneyland around 11.30, checked into the hotel and went straight to the park. We both hadn't been to Disney in several years, so we did all the things you "have" to see.

"Sleeping Beauty's castle", "Peter Pan", "Pirates of the Caribbean", "Indiana Jones", "Big Thunder Mountain", "Phantom Manor", "Space Mountain", "Buzz Lightyear's Laser blast"... Everything except Fantasyland, because we were coming back the next day anyway. We got tipped about having dinner at the Plaza Gardens Restaurant. An all you can eat buffet, but the we found the quality poor. Most foods were either fatty or sweet, and there were too little vegetables for our taste. The canneloni was good though, and so were the chicken wings. Too bad they ran out of jello before we went for desset, I just love the stuff. Hmm, I think I might make some tomorrow...
That night, we went to check out the shops. We're always on the lookout for nice Nightmare Before Christmas stuff, so we were quickly drooling over the nice NBC things... After a visit to the Arcarde we went for a swim. A very SHORT swim," as the water was just freezing, and we weren't allowed in the much warmer jaccuzi for some reason. So, within ten minutes we were having a shower and went to our room.

Thursday started us at Walt Disney Studios Park. We went to see "Stitch Live", which was awesome! Mr B is now officially "Crazy M", just escaped from Space Prison. Very nicely done, and really funny.
"Armageddon" was so-and-so, but "Art of Disney Animation" was really cool, and "Crush's Coaster was Awesome, totally! It was a loooong wait though, but worth it. After an hour or three we were kinda done in this park, and we went back to Disneyland. We did "Buzz Lightyear's Laser Blast" again, that ride is so much fun! We also did "Star Tours", "It's a small world" (That song is SO annoying!) and "Pirates" again, before having a wonderful meal at the Blue Lagoon restaurant. It's really cool sitting right beside the water, and seeing the boats from the ride come through. The food is caribbean in style, not too spicy and really good! Nice prices too, but I'd have gone anyway.
We decided to do the shopping tonight, so we could repack in peace. We bought NBC bronze statues, salt & papper shakers, pyjamas (they have really cool t-shirts), a shirt, socks, earrings and a book. We went kinda crazy I guess...

Friday we went to Val d'Europe, the shopping mall nearby. We wanted to do some outlet shopping there, but apparently outlets are allergic to anything above a size 8... I wanted some lingerie, but you guessed it, everything was too small. But, I did find something. At the outlet center, there's a stationery store, that had some punches on sale. I bought a star and a flower shape, for 2 euros each (about $3).
Then we were underway home... We had dinner at the Gare du Nord, a rather nice hamburger meal, and then got on the Thalys for Amsterdam. We were in a compartment with a large group of kids aged around 16, and they were pretty noisy. It didn't bother me, but one of the other passengers blew up after asking them to quiet down a couple of times. She got thoroughly ignored, and I can imagine how annoyed she was. She shouldn't have yelled like she did, but I can understand her sentiments.
Around 0.30 we got home, after a very nice honeymoon. We've got a few days off still, and then normal life will start again...